Last week, volunteers saved 100 pilot whales from being beached off the coast of a Scottish island.
Last Thursday, residents of a small Scottish island called South Uist spotted a pod of pilot whales, swimming close to the island’s rocky coast. At least 20 of the whales already had injured their heads from attempting to run into the rocks, and as many as 80 more were swimming behind them.
“Pilot whales have extremely strong social bonds, which sadly means healthy whales within the pod will follow sick and injured whales on to shore,” Scottish SPCA senior inspector Calum Watt told the Telegraph.
No one knew why the whales were set on beaching themselves on this rocky shore, but if they succeeded, it meant certain death.
Fortunately, local volunteers and rescuers from afar banded together to send the whales back to safety. Volunteers from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) and the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals used inflatable pontoons to guide the whales back to sea, and local fishermen assisted with the effort.
The effort seems to have worked: The whales have turned back towards deeper waters, and have divided into smaller groups. The volunteers are standing by to provide medical help to the injured whales, and the pontoons remain in the water, just in case the whales decide to head back to shore.
Check out the video below.